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for next week. >>> tokyo share prices are showing initial reaction to new york's trading after two days of closure due to the storm. wednesday the dow jones industrial average closed at 13,096. the nasdaq fell 0.4% to 20,977. to see how things are kicking off, we go to the tokyo stock exchange. how are things looking over there? >> raw mean, we are about three minutes to trading thursday morning and off to a etty weak stt. let's go through the opening levels at the tokyo stock exchange. the nikkei average down about 0.2%, 8,910. small losses for topix quoted at 741. tokyo markets are in fact showing their initial response to wall street's performance on wednesday. sentiment in europe was pretty jittery. many investors were staying on the sidelines. the dow jones industrial average started higher, later dropped into the negative led by stock and tech shares. there is a sense of relief in new york, the united states, that trading in new york went smoothly. that's been reflected by the fact that the dow's fall was not as steep as initially feared. here in tokyo, earnings announcements will
at the tokyo stock exchange. quite a solid move across the board in the u.s. >> definitely seeing a follow through yuko. let's go straight to the opening levels so you can see what i'm talking about for the nikkei and the topix for this -- for today november 20th. 9,171. closing at a high. it's been up almost 6%. we'll see how the trade today. 2 billion shares were traded today. that compares to 1.3 billion last wednesday before the markets moved substantially higher. a lot of focus of course on the weeker yen. because of the premise that the possible new government led by ldp leader abe will be more aggressive in its stand against deflation as well as further monetary easing measures. and that's really brought in an influx of foreign buyers as well going for large cap stocks. some of the blue chip exporters that we've seen gain. but also looking at some of the undervalued banking and financial shares as well which have gained as the stock markets gain as well. as their portfolios gain in value. let's have a look at some of the currencies as well. dollar/yen. currently 81.33-38. yuko? >> a
over to ramin standing by for us at the tokyo stock exchange. we saw big losses across the board for stocks globally last week. what's expected this week. >> good morning. there's some concerns for global stocks, and we see their concerns about the so-called fiscal cliff, of course, in the united states. a combination of tax increases exami and spending cuts and could push the u.s. economy into a recession as all eyes are on how that develops. here in japan, too, the nikkei was down 3.75% last week, so we saw that play into the markets as well. the gdp figure is coming at 0.9% for the july-to-september period. we'll see how that is translating into the opening levels. let's go to the opening levels for the nikkei and topix for many monday, november 12th. both indices are down by half a percent there. the nikkei closed out last week at a four-week low as the yen gained against the dollar and euro. the japanese currency rose. really investors shifting money into yen-based assets and the higher yen weighing on export issues. this is at a time when many japanese corporations are rele
for the election. shintaro ishihara is aiming to shake things up and steer his country right. the former tokyo governor is trying his hand at national politics. he wants to review japan's constitution and strengthen its self-defense forces among other things, all under the name of his newly-launched sunrise party. nhk world's mitsuko nishikawa reports. >> translator: i will fight against the existing major older parties such as the ldp and dpj, and new komeito. we will challenge them, otherwise japan won't change. i am thinking of uniting other smaller parties in order to fight in the election. >> reporter: ishihara's new party calls for the establishment of a strong nation by building up its self-defense capability. it also pledges to give local government more power. ishihara has pursued politics for more than 40 years, of which he served as an outspoken tokyo governor for more than 13 years. he stirred controversy this year by announcing a plan to purchase some of the disputed senkaku islands in the east china sea from a private land owner. his action prompted the japanese government to pur
. the mayor of osaka, toru hashimoto, and the former governor of tokyo, shintaro ishihara, have both established new parties in an attempt to alter the dynamics of the nation's politics. >> so, what maa seau, what do you see on japan's political horizon after the election? >> well, polls suggest the main opposition ldp stands a good chance of taking the most seats, but, you know, no party is expected to win a majority in the lower house. if that's the case, those parties that succeed in forming a majority coalition will take power and form a new government. if the ruling dpj and the main opposition ldp with its new partner new komeito together win a majority of seats, they could form a new coalition government. that's exactly what prime minister noda wants. the three parties have already worked together on fiscal and electoral reform bills. they have also agreed to work on social security reform in the future. but the ldp may try to form a coalition with the third pole. but, you know, all these things will depend on how the seat allocation breaks down among the parties in the electio
governor of tokyo, shintaro ra, new parties in an attempt to alter the dynamics of the nation's politics. >> so, masayo, what do you see on japan's political horizon after the election? >> well, polls suggest the main opposition ldp stands a good chance of taking the most seats, but, you know, no party is expected to win a majority in the lower house. if that's the case, those parties that succeed in forming a majority coalition will take power and form a new government. if the ruling dpj and the main opposition ldp with its partner new komeito together win a majority of seats, they could form a coalition government. that's exactly what prime minister noda wants. the three parties have already worked together on fiscal and electoral reform bills. they have also agreed to work on social security reform in the future. but the ldp may try to form a coalition with the third pole. but, you know, all these things will depend on how the seat allocation breaks down among the parties in the election. >>> u.s. government officials always closely monitor elections in japan. one spoke to nhk, saying
. tokyo stocks opened higher on tuesday morning regaining the 9,200 mark in two months. the nikkei average is trading at 9,168 that's up .2% from monday's close. tokyo shares are losing ground as investors are selling recent gainers to lock in profits. now to currencies on the tokyo current exchange. the dollar is little change against the yen. the dollar is changing hands. analysts say many investors are waiting to see the outcome of the bank of japan's policy board meeting that's going to end later in the day. they're reacting to repeated calls by opposition of liberal of democratic party for the bank of japan to further ease monetary policy. in the asia pacific region the kospi is up about.9%. in australia the benchmark index is up there about .4. it's intel outside for the boss of the major u.s. jet maker who is taking early retirement. intel has struggled in the global shift. intel officials announced on monday that paul otalini will retire next may. they have started selecting his replacement. he became the fifth ceo in 2005. he built closer ties with apple. int intel's growth slowed
on the syrian government are gathering in tokyo. they are taking part in an international conference to discuss strengthening sanctions. japanese officials say the aim is to get assad to stop the violence against his own people. delegates from more than 60 countries are attended the conference. they include representatives from the gulf region and the west. it's the first meeting of its kind in asia. a spokesperson for the syrian national coalition talked to nhk in egypt ahead of the conference. it was called for nations to work together. >> we need more than that. we have two ways. putting pressure on russia, china and iran to stop supporting this regime and that's what will be useful or supporting military. or make free zone and no fly zone. >> the japanese government has frozen assets held in japan by assad. it took the action last year. >>> a court in south korea is dealing with a legal matter. it's will decide whether to extradite a chinese national to japan for starting a fire. the site honors japan's war dead including war criminals. tokyo police suspect a fire was set to the gate last d
on the markets. on the tokyo foreign exchange, the dollar is gaining ground against the yen hitting the highest level in just about seven months. dollar yen is currently changing hands at 81.84 to 88 taking a look at the euro/yen, that is also at a six-month high. euro/yen 104.87 to 88. sources say many currency traders expect the bank of japan to deliver mormon tear easing because the central bank gave a cautious outlook for the japanese economy. let's get a check on stocks. japanese share prices are trading higher on the weaker yen this morning. the nikkei average currently 9,218, a gain of over 8/10 of a percent from tuesday's close. investors are placing buy orders particularly on export related issues due to the weaker yen, and let's also look at other markets in the asia pacific region. the kos pi is trading higher by over a fourth of a percent. we're looking at 1895 at the moment and in australia the benchmark indid didex is tradir 4378 in australia. >>> bank of japan governor has expressed strong concern over a call for bold monetary easing voiced by the leader of the largest oppositio
. the wto says the -- canadian officials may appeal the decision. >>> tokyo stock exchange officials are calling on small businesses in south korea to list their shares on the tokyo boards. the tse made the promotion in a seminar in seoul on wednesday. the event was held by an organization that helps enterprises to raise funds and enter foreign markets. more than 200 south korean companies including those from the information technology sector took part. officials from the tse said investors in tokyo are interested in asian firms with growth potential, and listing their shares on the tokyo bourse would raise their profile and credibility. a tse executive said establishing good relations will be a key to boosting global standing. >> translator: japan and south korea are neighboring countries and have strong business alliances. having said that, forging better ties with south korea is a big and important issue. >>> on tuesday the tse retained approval to tie up with the osaka securities exchange. the move is set to attract funds from foreign firms. the tse was one of the top venues for
. go welcomed them all to his chinese restaurant in tokyo. >> translator: li looked a little rough compared to hu jintao. hu was good looking. i spoke with li and felt he was as compassionate as hu. >> hu's support is said to have helped li rise through the ranks of the communist party. >> translator: li always seemed to take a back seat to president hu jintao. he looked as though he obeyed hu unconditionally. >> li became the party chief of hunan province in 2002. two years later he won the same position in you ling province. at the time he said he was doing everything he could to help people become better off. >> reporter: so there's a look at the career es of xi jingping and li key quing. now let's look at how they made it to the top of the power structure. here is part of my conversation with ak had da tack had da from university of tokyo who specializes in modern chinese politics. >> xi jingping is said to be sensible and level headed. what's your i'm preparation of him? >> he's been a very careful crown prince to not show what's really in his mind, behaving carefully and prud
'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. financial leaders of nations gathered in mexico. say they'll do everything necessary to achieve global growth. the finance ministers and central bank governors issued a joint statement on monday at the end of their two-day meeting. they said global growth remains modest and downside risks are still elevated. they warned against possible delays in tackling europe's debt problems. they also warned of the u.s. fiscal cliff. fiscal austerity is expected to increase. the finance chiefs cautioned extreme belt tightening could trigger a further slowdown. they point to the failure so far for debt covering bonds. they have decided to present reliable reconstruction plans for 2016 and beyond. called for growth strategies along with fiscal reform. they urge nations in fiscal good standing to step up to stimulate growth. now, it's not only the financial leaders who are worried about the slowdown. yuko fukushima joins us from the desk. how are investors feeling these days? >> good morning. understandably many of them are nervous. and they're hoping to get some clues from
to test a new med method that makes houses more resistant. tokyo denki professor susumu yasuda and a major housing maker worked together on the development of the technology. under the new method, steel plates are placed around the foundation of a house. when liquefaction occurs after an earthquake, soil under the house loses strength and starts to sink. but when steel plates are used, the liquefied soil stay in place as it can't go anywhere else. therefore, the house remains upright. the experiment was conducted in scuba city northeast of tokyo. two model homes were built on a platform that could simulate earthquakes. the house on the left was reinforced by steel plates. both houses were built on saturated soil. they were shaken for one minute. about 20 seconds later, water began seeping from the ground. the house on the right began to tilt and eventually sank 20 centimeters. the house with the steel plates was flooded but stayed upright. >> translator: i think this is one of the many effective methods that have recently been developed. >> the land ministry says about 27,000 houses suffer
's check on the markets here in tokyo for this wednesday morning. first to stocks. the nikkei index is currently trading at 8,973. that's just slightly down .02% from tuesday. investors are placing buy orders after a rally in new york but many are refraining from aggressive moves to see the outcome of the u.s. presidential election. currencies on the tokyo foreign exchange the dollar is little changed against the yen, dollar/yen is changing at 80.18 to 26 and currency investors are staying on the sidelines as they wait for the results of a tightly fought race to the white house. the euro/yen is currently changing hands. to other markets in asia pacific regions, the kospi is down a quarter percent and trading at 1,923 and in australia the benchmark index there is up about a quarter percent and trading right now at 4,495. and moving onto europe, workers in greece have begun a general strike, tens of thousands of greeks have taken to the streets to protest the new austerity bill. this includes pensions and public servant salaries and the plan will be put to a vote in parliament on wedn
structure. here's part of my conversation with tack ha ra of the university of tokyo. he specializes in modern chinese politics. xi jinping is said to be sensible and level headed. what is your assessment of him? >> he has been a very careful crowned prince not to show what's really in his mind. and he's been behaving very carefully and prudently. certainly, he must be a very capable administrator. he was a leader in the coastal provinces like shanghai, which all have been doing very well in recent years. so that part of his capacity was appreciated. he was a princeling, and a lot of the party elders apparently thought that he was a very trustworthy person because, you know, he's the son of this revolutionary man that can be trusted. so all these factors i think played a positive role in making him the next leader. >> reporter: li keqiang is expected to succeed wen jiabao and become china's number two leader. what's your assessment of him? >> the communist youth league connection is very strong. so if you do become a member of the top leadership of the china -- the communist youth le
to ally with the former tokyo governor ishihara. 47% said they favor an alliance. 48% say they don't seek an alliance. 5% couldn't answer either way. the japan restoration party leader and the former tokyo governor have played big roles in different ways in japan. earlier i spoke with michael ambe, who has covered japanese politics for years. michael, so why do you think these men attract the kind of support they do? >> both hashimoto and ishihara are outspoken politicians, and voters see them as strong leaders. hashimoto is the mayor of osaka, but this summer he started making moves to found the conservative japan restoration party. ishihara, on the other hand, is a veteran politician. he's 80 years old. he resigned as tokyo governor last month saying he, too, wants to launch a party. both men aim to establish a so-called third poll, meaning an alternative to the main parties, but they're not rivals, you see. in fact, they are exploring a partnership for the next lower house election. some voters believe neither the ruling dpj nor the major opposition ldp has brought about change for the
'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. japan's prime minister is getting caught up in his own words. yoshihiko noda suggested a few months ago he would call an election. members of the opposition are putting more and more pressure on him to follow through. but he faces divisions within his democratic party. noda said during the summer that he would call an election in his words some time soon. he says he stands by his promise. >> translator: i am responsible for my own words, and i take their weight very seriously. >> noda told his party's secretary general on sunday that he's thinking of dissolving the lower house by the end of the year. noda set three conditions for calling the elections including passing a debt financing bill. lawmakers expect to enact the legislation soon. kosishi says dissolving the diet would create a political vacuum. >>> we may soon see more american oil tycoons. yu yu yu yu yuko fukushima joins us now. >> we're hearing that the united states will become the world's largest oil producer within five years. the dramatic prediction by the international energy agency comes as n
a look at how stocks are performing. tokyo share prices are recovering this thursday morning to the 9,300 level for the first time since early may. the key nikkei index at 9318. that's a gain of over 1% so far in the day. analysts say that market players are buying export-related shares as the yen weakens. investors have high hopes for an earnings recovery of exporters. an overnight rise on wall street, that also is helping push shares up here in tokyo. let's take a look at other markets that are open this hour. in south korea, the kospi is trading higher by almost .8%, currently 1898. let's take a look at australia. the benchmark index there is trading well over 1%. 1.3% at 4426. >>> ministers from japan and south korea are discussing a broad range of economic issues. japan apparently hopes that the two countries will reassert the imrtance of their economic ties and that's despite a souring in their political relations due to a territorial dispute. the working-level talks in seoul on thursday will be attended by japanese deputy foreign minister koji and south korean deputy trade mini
>>> welcome to "newsline." it's thursday, november 8th. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. >>> people in china are waiting for their major party to begin a transition. they won't be waiting in line to cast ballots as americans did this week. instead, select members of the communist party are passing control to a new generation of leaders. the process is both highly crotted and highly secretive. about 2,200 party representatives are gathering inside the great hall of the people in pay generally speaking to start their congress. president hu jintao, the party's general secretary, will deliver the opening speech. he'll look back over the past five years during which time chain in grew to become the world's second-largest economy. he'll look ahead to the coming years and talk about the challenges chinese face. the communist party congress runs for seven days, then hu and other top officials will hand power to another group of new leaders. we'll get back to the story a little later. >>> cradle of culture. economic powerhouse. many enjoy the fruits of prosperity along the path t
in tokyo. >> translator: li keqiang looked a little rough compared to hu jintao. hu was good looking. but i spoke with li and felt that he was as compassionate as hu. >> hu's support is said to have helped li rise through the ranks of the communist youth league and the party. >> translator: li always seemed to take a back seat to president hu jintao. it might seem inappropriate to say, but li looked as if he obeyed hu unconditionally. >> reporter: li became the party chief of hunan province in 2002. two years later, he won the same position in yaoming province. at the time, he said he was doing everything he could to help people become better off. >> reporter: so there's a look at the careers of xi jinping and li keqiang. now let's find out how they made it to the top of china's power structure. here's part of my conversation with akio takahara of the university of tokyo. he specializes in modern chinese politics. xi jinping is said to be sensible and level headed. what is your assessment of him? >> he has been a very careful crowned prince not to show what's really in his mind. and he's be
's check on the markets for this wednesday morning. on the tokyo foreign exchange the yen is trading slightly lower against the dollar and the euro. the dollar/yen is currently changing hands at 79.45 to 48 and the euro/yen is quoted at 100.98 to 99. sources say 2r5iders are buying back the euro as worries about the debt situation in greece have somewhat eased after the country had a successful treasury bill auction on tuesday. onto the stock markets. share prices are little changed in tokyo on wednesday morning. the nikkei index now stands at 8,660. that's just down .38 points. some investors are buying back recent decliners and many are staying on the sidelines as there are few incentives for active trading. other markets in the asia pacific region kospi is down 4/10 of a percent and australia, the benchmark index up about 2/10 of a percent, changing hands now at 4,387. >>> major japanese retailer eon says it will reopen the supermarket in chen tau this month after an attack by an anti-japan protesters. it was shut down in september after being destroyed by protesters who opposed t
. i'm in bangkok. >>> the world's tallest broadcast tower, tokyo's sky tree, marks its six-month anniversary this week. one of the capital's biggest tourist attraction has drawn almost a third more visitors than expected. but some shops around the sky tree aren't reaping the rewards and are actually seeing falling sales. thursday marked the anniversary of the main opening of the 634-meter high structure in tokyo's ward. the sky tree's operator says nearly 3.3 million people had visited the tower's observation decks at 350 and 450 meters as of wednesday. that's 30% more than anticipated. the company also said the tower and the attached commercial complex attracted a total of nearly 28 million visitors. 50% more than forecast. but it's not boom time for everyone. the shopping districts around the sky tree had expected a business surge but it never came. on the contrary, some shops seeing declining sales. one street is home to about 70 stores. some shopkeepers say many people visited when the sky tree was under construction, but recently, even the locals have stopped coming. t
>>> piling on the pressure. delegates to an international conference in tokyo agree on stronger sanctions against syria in their effort to stop its civil war. welcome to nhk world "newsline." representatives of nations putting the squeeze on the syrian government have met all over the world. their latest gathering brought them here to japan. the delegates worked on their strategy to push president bashar al assad out of office and ultimately end the bloodshed. on one hand, they're strengthening sangings. on the other, they're reaffirming their support for opposition forces. nhk world's akira saheki reports. >> reporter: delegates from more than 60 countries are attending the conference, including representatives from the gulf region and the west. they've met several times before, but this is the first time they've gathered in asia. the japanese government hosted the conference to help broaden the base of international support for sanctions against syria. >> translator: the international community has been asking the syrian government to end the violence. but the assad regime is
on the bailout fund for greece has been put off till next week. in tokyo the nikkei extended losses to seven days. chinese stocks were treated because of fierce that the on going communist party congress would make little change in economic policies. let's have a look at currencies. the euro is losing ground against the yen. investors are keeping a wary eye on the debt situation in greece. the yen is quoted at 100- 75-79. >>> many countries are now seeking to diversify their energy sources. industry ministry officials in japan are aiming to launch the world's first futures trading market for liquefied natural gas. they hope to put it into effect by march 2014 to bring down lng prices. liquid natural gas prices have surged since the fukushima daiichi plant accident, it led to shutdowns of all but two reactors in the country. the commodity has been traded at a premium since the link to crude oil prices. officials hope lng can be obtained to prices that correspondent to natural supply and demand on the proposed futures market. the officials say they will form a council with power and gas company rep
out funds. share prices are rising slightly in tokyo. this morning the index stands at 8,695. that's up about two-tenths of a percent. the index fell six days in a row. investors are now buying back mainly export related issues. >>> other markets in special regions. the kospi is down about.14%. the people who will made japanese money, the operators of the national mint are pitching their services to overseas government. the first customer looks like being bangladesh. officials are expecting to receive the order soon for 500 million bangladesh's coins. they are made of stainless steel and worth about three cents. other bidders included britain and germany. japan's mint has produced coins in the past but this will be the first time to mint a foreign common currency. production is expected to start at the end of the year after contracts are signed with the bangladesh bank. production has been on the decline due to the rising popularity of electronic funds. that's all for me now. i'll leave you with the markets in asia. >>> israeli prime minister says his forces will not tolerate furth
on export related issues. tokyo share prices have been trading higher extending gains. 8,957 up 127 points. almost one and a half percent from thursday's close. let's have a look at other asian markets. we can see the contrast there with seoul's kospi. it's trading down at 1,867. australia's benchmark index is down. you can see the contrast between asian indexes and the nikkei. u.s. consumer prices posted only a minor gain last month as the rise in gasoline came to an end. the consumer price index rose 0.1% from the previous month. clothing recognize 0.7% and shelter includiing rent gained 0.3%. people who make traditional japanese paper fear their may will losing relevance. >> reporter: home furnishing professionals gathered here at this trade show in tokyo. >> translator: are they reusable? don't they rot? >> they don't go moldy either. that sounds good. >> reporter: the vases are made of paper. treated with a mix of special resins makie ining them water p >> translator: we're really impressed by the response. it's much better than we expected. demand for washi has been cooling since few
in tokyo. they are trading lower on tuesday morning as investors hold pack from active trading ahead of the presidential election. the nikkei is at 8,970 that's down about 37 points from monday's close. as i said many investors are keeping an eye on upcoming corporate earnings reports for the half year through september. shares of panasonic and sharp are trading lower again. take a look at tokyo for an exchange. trading is limited ahead of tuesday's u.s. presidential election. a dollar yen is right now trading at 80.17 to 19 and the eu euro/yen stands at 102.55 to 57. analysts say investors buying yen after gains by the dollar last week on favorable data. south korea's kospi is up. in australia the index is trading higher about a quarter percent. chinese officials are open to second front in their solar power world with the european union. they filed a complaint with the world trade organization. china's commercial ministry says their unfairly supporting solar power equipment makers. it has serious consequences for china's solar related exports. the eu ran an investigation into septe
the u.s. has gotten very frustrated with tokyo. it no longer believes the noda administration is capable of joining. and when prime minister abe when i becomes prime minister may want to join for security reasons to shore up the u.s./japan agreement, there's little faith in washington he could do anything until after the upper house election in 2013, and perhaps not even then. so the u.s. will go ahead with tpp, without japan, let japan join later. the u.s. would like japan in it, but japan has got to live up to the standards. that's the obama position. >> reporter: japanese prime minister yoshihiko noda has congratulated the u.s. president, and promise cooperation. the foreign policy will also welcome obama's second term. senior officials expect the u.s. will maintain its international policies, including focus on asia. but problems remain for japan/u.s. ties. there is a call to relocate the u.s. air station in oak thank you way. the deployment of the u.s. osprey transport aircraft is another sticking point. defense officials have yet to convince local population to accept training flig
strong as worries about the u.s. fiscal cliff. >>> turning to stock markets. share prices in tokyo are rising as export-related issues are being bought due to the weaker yen. nikkei average, 8742. and that's up .9%, or 78 points from wednesday's close. analysts say the japanese currencies dliped to the lower 80 yen range against the dollar is encouraging investors to buy stocks. >>> let's have a look at asia-pacific region, seoul's kospi, 1864. that is down 1.5%. australia's benchmark index is also lower, .8% at 4352. >>> hundreds of thousands of workers have staged strikes or demonstrated across europe in coordinated protests against excessive cuts in government spending. wednesday's rallies in spain, italy, greece and elsewhere were planned by the european trade union confederation. in spain more than 10,000 people staged demonstrations in central madrid. clashes with riot police left some people injured. protesters also clashed in rome and milan. in spain and portugal workers went on strike, some schools were closed, and flight services were canceled. the labor confederation say
, the greek economy was down 7.2% in the quarter. representatives from japan's farming sector rallied in tokyo. they're urging the government not to take part in the talks on a free trade deal under the transpacific partnership. japan has been in talks with countries involved in the u.s.-led trade negotiations. about 1,500 people gathered at the rally sponsored by the central union of agricultural cooperatives. >> translator: japan's participation in the trade deal would give a devastating blow to the country's agriculture. it would change everything in the regional economies and communities. >> the protesters adopted a resolution which emphasized their determination to try to stop the government's participation. the issue is expected to be discussed at the annual asean summit that opens in cambodia next week. the group is concerned they may prime minister yoshihiko noda may take that occasion to express japan's participation in the pacific rim free trade talks. >>> in south korea, the disparity between large and small enterprises is expected to be a major issue in next month's presidential el
. >>> one factor that will influence relations between tokyo and seoul is who gets to be japan's next prime minister. the latest nhk poll suggests japanese voters will focus on domestic issues as they cast their ballot in next month's lower house election. the poll asked japanese voters what matters most. 34% said dealing with the economy. 21% replied reforming social security. and 11% cited energy policy, including the use of nuclear power. the disapproval rate for prime minister yoshihiko noda's cabinet hit a record high at 64%. that's a three percentage point increase from a week ago. the approval rate remained unchanged at 22%. voters were also asked who they would prefer as prime minister. the two choices were the incumbent yoshihiko noda, who heads the democratic party, or shinzo abe, leader of the opposition's liberal democratic party. 21% of respondents chose noda. 26% favored abe. but almost half, or 49%, said they wanted neither. >>> japan's top government spokesperson says officials are gathering information in anticipation of a possible missile launch by north korea. u.s. satell
shrine. in tokyo last december. japanese officials have asked south korea to transfer liu after his jail term ends under their extradition treaty. however the chinese contracted lawyers want the man sent home as a political offender, rather than handed over to japan. south korean judicial officials say the legal team is made up of five lawyers from a prominent south korean law firm. the trial at the seoul high court is scheduled to begin on thursday. >>> tibetan exiles of india have taken to the streets in new delhi to protest the new government. >> reporter: tibetan exiles are angry about -- hundreds gathered in the indian capital wednesday to criticize china. they say its policies have driven does accepts of tibetan refugees to set fire to themselves. >> reporter: tibetan people are protesting daily to show their solidarity with self imgreat fors. 400 demonstrators protested in tibet. >> you cannot talk about religion, and you cannot, you know, say anything against the government. >> reporter: the tibetan government in exile says the situation is desperate in chinese provinces. it's sa
or declined somewhat compared to the previous report. >>> on the tokyo foreign exchange, the dollar is gaining ground against the yen this morning. dollar/yen is fetching 82.04-08 at the moment. analysts say concerns over the u.s. economic outlook eased slightly after u.s. president barack obama and a top republican in congress hinted they were optimistic about a deal over the so-called fiscal cliff. the euro is edging higher against the yen and that's changing hands at 106.24-26. let's take a look at stocks now. tokyo share prices are edging higher as concerns about the u.s. economy are receding. the nikkei average at 9371, a gain of .7% from wednesday's close. export-related issues, including automakers, are leading the market advance. and taking a look at other markets open in the asia-pacific, we're seeing south korea's kospi trading higher by .9%, 1929. and in australia, the benchmark index is trading higher by .4%, 4465. we'll see where china takes us in the next hour. >>> countries around the world are accelerating moves to solidify trade relations. among them, japan and the european un
in tokyo. the site honors japan's war dead, including war criminals. tokyo police suspect 38-year-old liu qiang set fire to a gate at the shrine last december. he already served a ten-month prison term for throwing four firebombs at the japanese embassy in seoul in january. authorities in japan demanded his extradition after he finished serving time, but officials in china want liu sent home for humanitarian reasons. they say he suffers from mental illness. the chinese government helped assemble liu's defense team. liu told the seoul high court thursday he started the shrine fire because he was trying to correct the japanese government's historical views. he asked the court to send him back to china saying he would not get a fair trial in japan. liu's defense team said his crimes are considered political and he should not be handed over to japanese authorities. prosecutors countered liu does not meet the definition of a political offender. the court has put off its decision until defense witnesses testify in two more rounds of hearings. >>> managers of a tea company in western japan have
anticipate a fiscal cliff in the u.s. tokyo's nikkei average ended 1.5% lower, extending losses to four days. south korea's kospi lost 1.1%. hong kong shares were down 2.4%. looking at currencies, the yen is keeping a firm tone against the dollar and euro. traders are buying safer currencies like the yen due to a cautious outlook for the global economy. the dollar/yen right now 79.81 po 85. the dollar is also lower against the yen, currently 101.75 to 75. many market players are on the sidelines ahead of a european bank central policy meeting later today. >>> some key japanese economic indicators came out on thursday. they all show signs of a slowdown in business activities. the current account surplus for september shrank for first time in two months. this is a broad measure of foreign trade. finance ministry officials say the account surplus stood at $6.3 billion. that's down about 70% in yen terms compared to a year ago. the slide was mainly due to a trade deficit in september. sharp falls in exports to the eu and china are higher. energy imports dragged down by the trade balance. the def
a new cultural force, the so called third poll. the mayor and former governor of tokyo have founded new parties to try to alter the dynamic of national politics. they may even join forces. many voters remember that ldp was wasting taxpayers' money. they believe the party was controlled by bureaucrats and business interests and see it as old-fashioned third party. but as i've said, voters have a lot of confidence in the democrats already so some may want to take their chances with another election. >> all right. thanks as always. >>> japanese business leaders commented on the prime minister's decision to dissolve the lower house. chairman of japan business association told reporters that noda made a tough decision aimed at resolving various problems to stop the political confusion. he urged that the government should urge measures to ensure the economy is boosted even after the dissolution. >> translator: it's vital to implement the economic measures that noda asked the relevant government offices to compile. >> chairman of the japan chambers of commerce and industry said it's regrettabl
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